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Psychometric tests: definition, types and categories

A psychometric test can be defined as  any activity that is performed in order to evaluate the performance of an individual. These tests measure differences between individuals or the reactions of individuals in different situations.

They are also used by market analysts to evaluate a product’s performance and preferences in the public.

What are psychometric tests?

The psychometric evaluations assess skills , knowledge, psychic abilities, behaviors, personality traits and abilities of the individual .  For example: in a work psychometric test, according to the result with the evaluation preferences, the employer will assign a certain task to be used by the candidate; Another example is the educational centers, in which psychometric tests are carried out to classify children according to their knowledge.

These tests are performed by an experienced mental health professional or psychologist.

In psychology, psychometric tests are used to determine the degree of affection in an individual with a certain type of disorder or who has undergone a traumatic experience .

Psychometric test categories

  • There are the attitude and personality tests that measure the performance of an individual. In these tests there is no right or wrong choice, but they do undergo a standard comparison analysis between individuals; in this way they are given the corresponding classification.
  • Ability and ability tests are designed to measure an individual’s peak performance. These tests are based on multiple choice questions and are timed.

Psychometric tests are not always individual, depending on the type of test that is applied depends on whether it is individual or group. These tests are not always written (based on questionnaires), sometimes they can also be oral (direct question-answer in conversation).

Types of psychometric tests

Within the psychometric tests three aspects are evaluated: intelligence, aptitude and personality.

Inteligence test

In this , the ability of an individual or a group to solve various problems is evaluated. We well know that there is no single type of intelligence, there are  multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983), but some of these 9 types of intelligence are classified in the category of skills.

Usually in this type of test interpersonal intelligence, linguistic intelligence and logical-mathematical intelligence are taken into account.

It is known that intelligence is a cognitive aptitude , and this implies having different abilities; ability to reason, to analyze, make decisions, think objectively and subjectively, memorize, create, relate to and understand situations.

Aptitude test

In this the capacities and abilities of an individual are evaluated . In the workplace, according to the skills that the individual possesses, a specific type of task will be assigned.

The types of skills that are assessed include: verbal ability, numerical ability, schematic reasoning, special skills, creativity, kinesthetic ability, interpersonal or social ability.

Personality test

In this personality traits and behaviors of the individual are evaluated . There are two types of personality tests: objective tests and projective tests; These measure temperament, attitudes and behaviors of the subject, with himself and the environment.

Objective tests

 These tests generally have questions that the tested subject will answer personally. There are no right or wrong , bad or good questions. The evaluation of these tests is not influenced by personal feelings or opinions. According to their answers, the psychologists in charge of evaluating will take note of certain aspects of the individual, for example: emotional stability, security or self-  insecurity , self-confidence , sociability, among others.

Some of the disorders found by evaluation by objective tests are:

You may also be interested in:   Wernicke’s aphasia, understanding aphasia or sensory aphasia

Projective tests

 These represent projections of the most internal unconscious mental processes of the examined person. In this type of test, the individual is evaluated through the interpretation of abstract figures, incomplete sentences or the execution of drawings .

Projective evaluations are also used to study the personality of the subjects and, less frequently, the learning processes . This is where we find the well-known Rorschach test or inkblot test -one of the oldest psychometric tests in existence-; Other techniques used for projective tests are: Holtzman inkblot technique, sentence completion, Szondi test, thematic apperception test, black and white image technique and house-tree-person graphic technique. 

Test de Rorschach

The Rorschach test, like the other projective evaluations, allows evaluating emotional balance, degree of anxiety , tolerance to frustration , anger management ,  self-esteem , among others. 

This projective psychological test was created by the Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. Rorschach combined his interests in psychoanalysis and art to create a controversial test that could identify an individual’s personality – the famous Rorschach inkblot. He was the first researcher to use inkblot to analyze how his patients projected their own associations onto random stimuli .

The Rorschach Test consisted of the interpretation of 10 ink spots printed on cards – half in color and half in black and white. Rorschach showed his patients one card at a time and asked them to respond while he wrote down their responses. After the patients’ responses were recorded on paper, the psychiatrist showed the same cards again and prompted each of them to argue their answers. After evaluating the responses, Rorschach presented the results of his findings in 1921 in a work entitled “Psychodiagnostic.”

Today the Rorschach Test is widely used in different psychological currents (especially Gestalt Psychology) to evaluate cognition, personality and to diagnose certain psychological conditions.

Rorschach Test responses are scored based on four aspects:

Aperceptive mode: This aspect evaluates the way in which the patient has perceived the ink stain and the location of what the patient perceives in it.

Determining mode: This aspect evaluates why the patient sees what he claims to see. Among the determining aspects, shape, color and movement can be measured.

Content:  This aspect evaluates to which category what the patient sees belongs to, for example, if they are animals, humans, geometric figures, plants, objects, etc.

Popularity or originality:  This aspect evaluates whether the answer is popular (given by more people) or original (a single answer proposed by a single patient).

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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